Album Review: Low - C'mon

by David Safar

The band that helped put the Duluth music community on the map returns after four years since the release of Drums and Guns. The trajectory of Low's existence appears to be a mirror image of their music — patient and persistent.

In 2005, after the release of their sixth album, Trust, Low signed to Sub Pop Records and released The Great Destroyer. For fans, it was a long overdue recognition of a band that has championed the sounds of slowcore, a sound that few bands have perfected. Sub Pop brought changes for Low, as they brought on producer Dave Fridmann and their longtime bass player Zack Sally exited the band.

Low's ninth album is a true return to form. With the help of guitarist Nels Cline (Wilco), and banjo player Dave Carrol (Trampled By Turtles), the band used Sacred Heart Studios (housed in a church in Duluth) to create what might be the the best album of their career. C'mon opens with the dreamy and precious sounds and lyrics of "Try to Sleep", the song that has received widespread national attention due a music video starring actor John Stamos.

Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker trade off leading the vocals throughout the ten tracks on the album creating a dialogue that draws you in. Like previous albums, the lyrics are a collection of poems and short stories. The emotions conveyed in these songs are both personal and universal. On "Especially Me", Parker sings, "if we knew where we belong, there'd be no doubt where we're from, but as it stands we don't have a clue, especially me, and probably you." When you are tired of following the message underneath the surface, C'mon delivers a range of sonic diversity. From the naked sounds on "You See Everything", to the epic encore chorus in "Nothing But Heart", Low wears their musical talents on their sleeves.